Thumbs up: +3
The new year is upon us, and want to share with you some records I feel they deserve either a second chance or to be discovered, is it for collecting means or just because you ended liking the music. This isn't any sort of best year's albums list, just some limited editions, hard-to-find-gems, or regular editions that simply are too damn good to get overlooked. There isn't any year, kind of release nor genre order here (although there's a very thin genre line, obviously focused in heavy metal), just a rambling bunch of music. Without entering quality standarts subjective contemplations, note that some suggestions feature special release features.
Enjoy!

Created by: Tiago Rocha | 24.12.2011



1. Edguy - Age Of The Joker
I'm a man that doesn't like to be fooled when it concerns to purchasing records, specially the limited editions that labels love to smack us in the face with everytime they release an album. Limited editions that are named that way because they feature, documentaries on the album's recordings, footage from the band, photos, posters, stickers, dubious quality electronic remixes or official video-clips, are a perfectly profitable way of shoving up our ass crappy albums entitled... limited editions. I want music! Give me unreleased studio material, live concert recordings, or the album's complete demos. Now that's worth buying a limited edition! I couldn't help noticing one particular edition from Edguy's latest effort that will certainly amuse fans and collectors: the Special Fan Edition box limited to 750 copies and individually numbered, features 4 unreleased studio songs. The package also contains the 2LP Purple Vinyl of the record and one 12'' picture disc with those bonus songs. This last one is only available in this edition. If you didn't grasp one of those boxes and you want those bonus recordings so bad, then the regular limited edition will ease your pain. GENRE: Power; Heavy YEAR: 2011
2. Löbo - Älma
It's not everyday that such a young band like Löbo has the ability to pick up what we love to call ''easy-listening music'', and process it into the antithesis of the expression. The music continues slow, but the feeling got murky... and definitly less ''easy-listening''. Released in CD, available through their label Major Label Industries. GENRE: Drone; Doom; Post; Noise YEAR: 2010 FORMAT: EP
3. Sacred Sin - Darkside
Filthy, stenchy death metal. Mixing thrash and death metal, that familiar sound from its first wave in the final 80's/beginning of 90's, Darkside stands as a lost gem. Count with harsh production too. Originally released in 1993 only in CD, there's a 2nd edition released in the next year featuring a bonus disc with a live concert. Nhamy nhamy! GENRE: Death; Thrash YEAR: 1994
4. Lords Of Bukkake - Desorden Y Rencor
It's all about the riffs... They display the path, secretly luring me into something I don't understand, drawing up a quiet journey, but suddenly something hits me... It's that riff again... compelling.. I didn't even glimpse what struck me, and it comes hiting me again... and that clear path emerges, this time not with guitar feedback, but with a solo... its melody deceives me... making that other riff slapping me from behind... again, I didn't even noticed it coming. Those riffs, slowly structured driven... but so heavy... haunting... addicting... that voice telling me to (reaches rifle, leans against head, pulls trigger) BANG! GENRE: Extreme Doom; Sludge; Atmospheric Black YEAR: 2010
5. Nami - Fragile Alignments
Completely out of the blue, well from Andorra actually, this fellas sure came as a surprise to me. Finest progressive metal, with some death metal madness in the middle and post breaks just to get you calmed down before speeding it up again. There are no boundaries! You will long for the guitar solos... And it's just their debut... Supreme! GENRE: Progressive; Progressive Death; Post Rock YEAR: 2011
6. Archgoat - Heavenly Vulva (Christ's Last Rites)
Probably the winner in ''album surroundings'' as far as this list is concerned. Archgoat's blackened death metal new heretic EP isn't only about bashing Jesus, but to throw up on him, cutting off his legs, asking Lucifer himself to rape him and finally... put a beautiful goddess on top of him, taking obviously advantage of the poor innocent man again... JC's haters, no need to call Judas in, finnish act Archgoat is all you need! Expect raw production of course, mid/fast rhythm, average/good song structures and good guitar work. Debemur Morti Productions released a 12'' vinyl printed innersleeve with a poster, and, a first edition black polycarbonate CD. Only for infidels. GENRE: Death; Black YEAR: 2011 FORMAT: EP
7. Irae - Hellnation
There are good albums hidden in the underground full of the trve black metal bands trustful to the unholy horned one, but there's a lot of phony ones too, as most of them sound as bad 2nd black metal wave pioneers copycats, turning them into one big shitwheel of the same bored thing over and over again. Multi-instrumentalist Vulturius and his Irae project gives us Hellnation, the 2nd full length, a collection of black metal anthems more melodic than the debut, but still much overall influenced by the aforementioned raw stylistical culture, managing to mix some atmospheric black metal and black n' roll too. Certainly one of those that stands out the latter kind of satan worshipers, laying low in the underground, waiting for you. GENRE: Black YEAR: 2008
8. Men Eater - Hellstone
Guitar driven album, sludgy riffs, sparse vocals... damn, it seems like if the band kept playing their instruments just for fun completely forgetting they were in a recording session... Expect some thrash bits too (just when they get angry)... Hellstone is Men Eater's greatest achievement so far. GENRE: Stoner; Sludge YEAR: 2007
9. Frank Zappa - Hot Rats
In 1969 Zappa and The Mothers Of Invention split up. His first solo effort, the magnificent Hot Rats released that same year, raised the guitar master into stardom. Of course, the guitar player gained such appreciation behind The Mothers Of Invention, much due to the controvertional, social criticism and anti-political side of the band's music (listen to the satirical album We're Only in It for the Money in part also sustained by The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band concept endeavor), but his solo debut would definitely carve his solo career. Six instrumental tracks, exception is Willie The Pimp with special vocal appearence by Captain Beefheart, Hot Rats is a masterpiece focused in Zappa's guitar work (his bass playing in Peaches En Regalia is also dazzling) that not only extended Zappa's musical influence to another bands and future guitar virtuosos around the world until today, has it stood the man as one of the most important guitar players side-by-side with such names as Jimi Hendrix or Eric Clapton back then (way before Steve Vai started working with him). Band members Ian Underwood, Don ''Surcane'' Harris and Jean-Luc Ponty contributed in for the record's complex songwriting, jazz and blues influenced all along (listen to Zappa's 7 minute solo in Willie The Pimp). Enrich your collection with the very first edition released in 1969 by Bizarre/Reprise Records. GENRE: Progressive Rock; Instrumental YEAR: 1969
10. Desire - Infinity... A Timeless Journey Through An Emotional Dream
It's not hard to find a band sounding agressive... Harder, is finding one combining aggressiveness with the ability to create songs and not just a 20 minutes rambling track. Now, that's talent. But don't get me wrong: by aggressiveness I mean the vocals and the overall ambience inside Infinity, because the music here is obviously slow. Very slow. Piano parts everywhere, crow and rain sound samples, female backing vocals, all giving some sort of gothic feeling to the doom Desire practices here. A masterpiece! GENRE: Doom; Death Doom; Gothic YEAR: 1996
11. Jig-Ai - Jig-Ai
Gore. The handsome side of grindcore. Now, pick it up, mix it up with death metal, a taste of brutal death metal, and a drop of thrash metal (yes thrash metal!)... Add porno-grind lyrics, pig sqwirls, a high dosage of humour (the only clean vocals here come from the samples, wich by the way, fits perfectly in the music) and heavy riffage. Soppy huh? Impossible not to headbang to this baby. Originally released by Bizarre Leprous Production in 2006, look for the 2010 Grind System Music's red vinyl edition. GENRE: Gore; Grindcore YEAR: 2006
12. Darkestrah - Khagan
Hailing from Kyrgyzstan but currently based in Germany, Darkestrah proves once again the quality of their pagan black metal (if it was much left to prove). Always wandering through atmospheric soundscapes, it's impressive how the band doesn' forget their origins, comprising in the music influences from the asian country: asian pipes and chants, tibetan bells, didgeridoo (or is it gregoriam chants?), not to mention that some sort of acoustic guitar, violins and cellos. Definitely a pleasent gift hidden inside this EP. Seek out for the limited edition 12'' colored vinyl provided by Osmose. GENRE: Black; Atmospheric Black YEAR: 2011 FORMAT: EP
13. Kodiak - Kodiak
This 2 CD set features the band's entire discography, including the split songs with Nadja and Black Shape Of Nexus, the entire new full length collaboration with N and finally an unreleased track. Drone die-hard fans of The Grimmrobe Demos and alike will praise this one. Available in triplegatefold digipak covers. Drone fans, this one's for you! GENRE: Drone YEAR: 2011 FORMAT: Compilation
14. Gnaw Their Tongues - L'arrivée De La Terne Mort Triomphante
I've got to be honest: this one was one of my favourites last year. Multi-instrumentalist Mories keeps pushing the boundaries of sound each record he spits into the underground. Since the very first track, we get swallowed by this loud psychedelic symphonic soundtrack, fierce black metal growls mixed with maniacal textures so amazingly connected, building up a great sound-wall. Mories have released other amazing records under the Gnaw Their Tongues alias, probably better than this subjectively speaking, but L'arrivée De La Terne Mort Triomphante is my personal brain melting tablet. Burning World Records released 750 copies on black vinyl and 250 on gold vinyl. GENRE: Post; Atmospheric Black; Noise YEAR: 2010
15. Naked City - Naked City Live Volume 1: Knitting Factory 1989
Highly acclaimed saxophonist and composer John Zorn needs no introductions. Since 1989, he and his Naked City boys have been building a discography that above all, fussed the underground a bit with its mixture of jazzy oriented rock and... grindcore. Although the latter is lacking quite a bit in this particular issue, it still is noticeable in some parts of the record (the record was even mastered by Scott Hull). More straight jazzed, Naked City Live Volume 1 is a masterpiece of experimental rock jazz infused more that heavy metal, but in the end, what matters is the music right? Mandatorily paced in a way that is almost impossible not to shake to its tunes, making you feel like dancing, one can almost feel the fun these guys were having on stage! GENRE: Avantgarde Jazz; Experimental Rock; Post Rock; Grindcore YEAR: 2002 FORMAT: Live
16. Negură Bunget - OM
Everything have been said already about the masterpiece this romanian combo released in 2006, right? Well, not quite. You see, OM got the normal treatment labels give to their offspring, like a release with bonus tracks (yeah nice), one with a bonus DVD (greeeeat) and another in colored limited edition vinyl with bonus tracks (YES!)... But... It was also released in a rare chinese edition, not japanese, chinese! Obi-strip and two bonus tracks included, released by AreaDeath Productions one year later after the original. GENRE: Black; Atmospheric Black; Pagan Black YEAR: 2007
17. Bosque - Passage
Every living creature makes its day very slowly around here... Black metal freezing screams, dragged riffs, guitar feedbacks, electronic ambiances, raw production... One almost feels the cold climbing up our spine. Passage is the oblivion completed with despair and grief... Forsaken, those living creatures have died... The regular CD edition was issued under Total Holocaust, but make sure to ensure yourself the cassette edition of this blasphemy with alternative cover and numbered batch through Dunkelheit Records. GENRE: Atmospheric Black; Extreme Doom; Post YEAR: 2010
18. Shrine - Perspective
Old school thrash metal. Got that? If you didn't have the pleasure of the acquaintance yet, it's basically crushings riffs, fast guitar solos, perfect songwriting and technical music overall. All perfectly gathered out in Perspective, courtesy of Shrine. One perfect way of knowing and adding another lost gem to your thrash collection. You thank me later laddies. GENRE: Thrash YEAR: 1994
19. Baroness - Red Album
Is there any thing more beautiful than a band using their instruments, taking full advantage of every sound each produces, ignoring electronic aids, and just appreciating the sounds of them? Just the regular band elements (guitars, bass and drums) playing it's own instrument the best they know? Sludgy US's Baroness showed us in 2007 how it works quite well, and how an album somewhat hard to digest, makes one hell of a perfect rock epitome! To fully appreciate this magnum opus, the limited 1st pressing in black vinyl edition (only 1400 copies) is essential. I'd recommend the 1st pressing in clear vinyl (100 copies worldwide only), but the word on the streets is, that wasn't even available to the public. GENRE: Sludge; Stoner YEAR: 2007
20. Sailors With Wax Wings - Sailors With Wax Wings
One of my last year's favourites too. Lurking from no more no less than R. Loren's (Pyramids) mind, Sailors With Wax Wings offers feedback, different textures, violins, cellos and the incredible ability to make us dwell into imaginary soundscapes, keeping the song structures intact. A masterpiece that I found myself loving since last year, wich biggest feature is the imaginary it creates in us. Take off Pyramid's crazy industrial drumming and dwelling vocals, and swap them for more melodic vocals and post-rock oriented songs. But don't worry, that grimy feeling is scattered here and there too. R. Loren is the mastermind behind it, but the guy wasn't happy so he brought in such recognizable names such as Ted Parsons (Godflesh, Swans, Jesu or Killing Joke), Aiden Baker (Nadja) and Collin Marston (Dysrhythmia, Krallice)... Oh, and we get to listen vocals from Aaron Stainthorpe, Marissa Nadler and Jonas Renkse! Sailors With Wax Wings is a perfect soundtrack to listen while watching the sunsent in a cold day... or in a bleak rainy morning. I read somewhere in the web someone stating something like ''Another surprise in 2010. R. Loren is a man to watch in 2011 and beyond.'' I couldn't agree more! GENRE: Post; Doom; Shoegaze YEAR: 2010
21. Korn - See You On The Other Side
Opinions on the record's quality itself apart, the japanese deluxe edition (don't mistake with the regular japanese edition), hides an extra song added at the end of the first disc, ''Too Late I'm Dead'', featured nowhere else then in that particular issue, plus other 3 studio bonus songs, 2 remixes, 2 live performances on video and a club registration for a book of songs in english and japanese, and a second book with pictures, this two only available through that edition too. Digipak with the traditional obi-strip and a sticker in japanese. A must-have for Korn collectors and Korn fans GENRE: Nu; Alternative YEAR: 2005
22. Wardrum - Spadework
I could've choosen Riot's and Exxplorer's latest efforts respectivly in this department, but Spadework seems to have a grasp on me. The debut of the greek combo Wardrum deserves its spot in all its glory: heavy metal anthems, delicious guitar solos, melodic hooks and exquisite songwriting. It resembles the true heavy metal from the 80's, that has been reborned nowadays by the kids. One of the year's debut in the genre and definitly a good surprise! Really looking forward for the next album too. GENRE: Heavy YEAR: 2011
23. Cathedral - Statik Majik
Released in 1994 one year after the second coming The Ethereal Mirror, Statik Magik's core lies in 3 songs: Hypnos 164, Cosmic Funeral and Voyage Of The Homeless Sapien. The first one reflects the sound shapen in that record, where the darker ambience present in the debut was switched by melodic and accessible structures, the riffs were no longer so slow and dragged. Cosmic Funeral however, takes us back to those eerie passages from Forest Of Equilibrium, amazing it's songwriting. Voyage Of The Homeless Sapien, 23 minute track, ends the record mixing doom, extreme doom, some post passages and samples. A good filler between the debut's sound and the 2nd album. Go for the japanese edition with 5 bonus tracks, two of them live in japan, released by Toy's Factory, although the first pressing with different artwork released through Earache gives you a nice addition to your colection too. GENRE: Doom YEAR: 1994
24. Switchblade [SWE] - Switchblade
This was the record that marked their shift towards more atmospheric balances. Mixing the sludge sound they've been known around with doom, drone and sparse vocals, this six tracks instrumental trip is a good way to bridge yourself between their previous more rockier records, and the 4th self titled released in 2006 that improved the experimentation headed here. Released by Trust No One Recordings in vinyl available in 12 different colors, some of them with very limited pressing. Released in CD by Deathwish Inc. in the US. GENRE: Post; Sludge; Doom; Drone YEAR: 2003
25. Earth - The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull
Completely leaving behind any metal trace in their music, drone pioneers Earth are perfectly comfortable with the rockier sound they amaze us with in this record. Probably one of their best records ever, The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull shows a band that above all, maintained the ability to trick the listener, playing repeatedly music that in the end... sounded so different. The two japanese CD set edition includes "Live Europe 2006" as a bonus CD released through Daymare. GENRE: Drone Rock YEAR: 2008
26. Son Of Aurelius - The Farthest Reaches
We're aware the exceeding number of post, sludge/doom and technical death metal acts that make the store's shelves so often nowadays. Son Of Aurelius, the tech death metal US band is indeed, another one of those, but not JUST another one: one of the good ones! Amazing how this guys switch their pace so fast, not losing control of every inch of the music, so flawless... From sheer violence to amazing instrumental displaying, this guys know what they're doing, keeping the album diverse (just listen to ''Facing The Gorgon'' or ''The Calm'')... oh and Max Zigman's bass playing... amazing! Really great stuff for a debut! Available in regular edition CD through Good Fight Music and digital purchase with 5 studio bonus tracks. GENRE: Technical Death YEAR: 2010
27. Cloak Of Altering - The Night Comes Illuminated With Death
Mories, you twisted wacko... Just when we were still digesting some of your works in other projects, you puke at us the exquisite ''The Night Comes Illuminated With Death'' under the Cloak Of Altering alias, former known as Ophiuchus. Well, what Mories accomplishes here equals an imaginary ball, couples dancing in the dancing floor against their will, dead faces, forced to dance for eternity faster and faster and faster, until finally getting sucked into oblivion through a timevoid whirlwinding above their heads, with this powerful album playing so loud in between... Psychedelic orchestrations, beautiful bass lines, painful screamings, maniacal feelings: this is the symphony for the apocalypse! GENRE: Black; Industrial; Post YEAR: 2011
28. Disaffected - Vast
Released in 1995 (same year of known opus like Ayreon's The Final Experiment or Opeth's Orchid), Vast stands as a lost progressive metal gem. Death metal oriented, the band managed to mingle in thrash, heavy, gothic (atmospheres only) and even black, switching genre whenever they want! Acoustic guitars and a few samples scattered around, technical bass lines, good drumming, some piano lines too (just listen to the beautiful piano track Allusion), all perfectly fitting together. Oh and the guitar work... astonishing! GENRE: Progressive; Progressive Death YEAR: 1995



Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
[ More lists by Tiago Rocha ]



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!J.O.O.E.! - 31.03.2012 at 18:24  
Cool list. Lots of extremely varying styles and a few bands I've never heard of.
mz - 23.04.2013 at 08:12  
The only list in the world which we can find Korn, Frank Zappa and Gnaw Their Tongues on it,good job.

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